Eating during the biological night is associated with nausea

Kirsi Marja Zitting, Cheryl M. Isherwood, Robin K. Yuan, Wei Wang, Nina Vujovic, Miriam Münch, Sean W. Cain, Jonathan S. Williams, Orfeu M. Buxton, Charles A. Czeisler, Jeanne F. Duffy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objectives: This study assessed whether there was a time-of-day effect on nausea reports in participants during studies employing circadian protocols. Methods: Visual-analog-scales of nausea ratings were recorded from 34 participants (18-70 years; 18 women) during forced desynchrony studies, where meals were scheduled at different circadian phases. Subjective nausea reports from a further 81 participants (18-35 years; 36 women) were recorded during constant routine studies, where they ate identical isocaloric hourly snacks for 36-40 hours. Results: Feelings of nausea varied by circadian phase in the forced desynchrony studies, peaking during the biological night. Nausea during the constant routine was reported by 27% of participants, commencing 2.9 ± 5.2 hours after the midpoint of usual sleep timing, but was never reported to start in the evening (4-9 PM). Conclusions: Nausea occurred more often during the biological night and early morning hours. This timing is relevant to overnight and early morning shift workers and suggests that a strategy to counteract that is to pay careful attention to meal timing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S144-S148
JournalSleep health
Issue number1
StateAccepted/In press - 2023
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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